+ CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR: S. Morgan
Proofreaders & Writers
With the high costs of hiring an editor, it’s tempting to simply do it yourself. After all, you’re savvy when it comes to the English language. But there’s a reason that editors exist: they’ll catch mistakes that you will never see.
You might be the go-to when any of your friends or family members need an important document looked over and finalized before submitting. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be trusted to self-edit. It’s crucial that you have a fresh set of eyes to go through it for you.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Proofreader
Saving money is a great thing and, in most cases, it’s pretty smart to do things like clip coupons and look around for deals. But when it comes to skimping out on hiring an editor, the only thing you’ll be left with is readers who are seeing your mistakes in print.
There are few things worse than having to pull your book off the shelves so you can hire the editor you should have hired in the first place. Sure, you can come back weeks later with the new and improved Version 2.0 of your book, this time without typos! But the negative reviews will already be out there, crippling your sales and damaging your reputation.
Not hiring an editor now might (temporarily) save you some money and allow you to get your book published sooner. But once it’s published, it’s only a matter of time before you get an email, or even a public review, about those typos in chapter three or those comma splices in the last paragraph. Some authors even make bigger blunders, like changing the spelling of a secondary character’s name halfway through because they were pretty sure it was ‘-ie’ instead of ‘y’ when they returned from their month-long hiatus.
What It Will Cost
Not having your book properly edited before publication will inevitably lead to embarrassment once readers start to point out your mistakes. The feeling is a tad bit more serious than, “Whoops, I guess I should have hired an editor…” It’s closer to a panicked, “I have to fix this right now!” and it’s made even worse by the fact that your best option for an editor is potentially out of town, unavailable, or back-logged for the next month and a half.
Most likely, now that your book is out there with errors galore, you’ll want to pay a rush fee to get it completed faster—that’s adding to the cost, isn’t it? And when you rush work, you know what happens: things are missed! So, once Version 2.0 is out, you find it still has errors. What a lazy proofreader! Who can’t edit 125,000 words to perfection in that little time? Ideally, no proofreader will even accept such a monumental (and completely impossible) task. If they do, in fact, you should definitely head in the other direction!
The point is that you will save yourself so much time and money in the long run if you have your work edited. Plus, think of how much happier your book’s first few reviewers will be when they can talk about the story and not even have a typo cross their mind.